Lady Vikes go toe-to-toe with Neshoba Central, but come up just short

Published 8:35 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Even though Warren Central’s softball team had its six-game winning streak broken, it showed that it won’t be an easy out in the postseason.

Charmayne Morris hit a two-run double and scored a run in the first inning, and Lanayah Henry made it stand up with an excellent pitching performance as perennial softball power Neshoba Central beat Warren Central 3-2 on Wednesday.

Neshoba Central officially clinched the MHSAA Region 2-6A championship — Warren Central would’ve had to run-rule the Lady Rockets to overtake them on a run differential tiebreaker — but WC gained a measure of respect and confidence with a game that came down to the wire against one of Mississippi’s best teams.

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WC pitcher Madison Pant allowed seven hits and three walks, but no runs after the first inning. She had four strikeouts.

Henry, meanwhile, had 13 strikeouts while allowing five hits and one walk. The Lady Vikes solved her in the sixth inning, when Mari Kynlea Ferguson and Sarah Cameron Fancher both singled and scored on a one-out double by Jenn Smith to cut it to 3-2.

Henry got out of that jam and stranded the tying run, however, and then worked around Tyra Bridges’ two-out single in the seventh inning to close out the victory.

Fancher finished 2-for-2 with a run scored for Warren Central. Morris was 2-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and one run scored for Neshoba Central (20-4, 8-0 Region 2-6A).

Neshoba Central will be the No. 1 seed from Region 2-6A in the Class 6A playoff bracket, and will face Grenada or Lake Cormorant in a first-round series. The Lady Rockets are chasing their 10th state championship in 12 seasons.

Warren Central (19-5, 6-2) will be the No. 2 seed and play either Grenada or Lake Cormorant when the playoffs begin April 26.

The Lady Vikes will finish the regular season Thursday at home, with a game against Brookhaven. The junior varsity teams will play at 5 p.m. and the varsity at 6:15.